Fokas Athanasios

Athanasios Fokas
Academy Member

Biographical note

Mathematics/Applied Mathematics   (2005)  


ASF has a BSc Degree (June 1975) from the Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College; a PhD Degree (June 1979) from the Department of Applied Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, USA; and a MD Degree (June 1986) from the School of Medicine, University of Miami, USA.


1979-80: Saul Kaplun Research Fellow in Applied Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, USA

1980-86: Assistant Professor (1980-82), then Associate Professor (1982-86), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Clarkson University, USA

1986-93: Professor and Chairman, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Clarkson University

1987-88: Visiting Professor, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, USA

1993-95: Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University, UK

1996-2001: Professor of Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, UK

2002-: Chair of Nonlinear Mathematical Science, DAMTP, University of Cambridge, UK

2015-: Visiting Professor, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, USA

Awards and Honours

  • The Governors Prize in Aeronautics of Imperial College for 1975 (best student in the nal year).
  • The J.W. Graham Research Prize of Clarkson University for 1983.
  • The Naylor Prize of the London Mathematical Society for 2000 (the last ve earlier recipients were Sir Roger Penrose, Sir Michael Berry, Sir John Ball, F.P. Kelly and S.W. Hawking).
  • The Aristeion Prize of the Academy of Athens, 2004 (the most prestigious prize of the Academy given every four years to a single scholar chosen from science, or engineering, or medicine).
  • Elected in December 2004 a Member of the Academy of Athens (the Academy of Athens has about 45 members covering all areas including sciences, engineering, medicine, arts, letters, political and moral sciences; ASF is the sixth mathematician elected in the Academy -the first was C. Caratheodory- and the first ever applied mathematician).
  • Presented with the Decoration of the Order of Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic on the 18th of January 2005 (only 14 people were included in the list of Honours).
  • Elected in June 2005 a Professorial Fellow of Clare Hall.
  • The Excellence Prize of the Bodossaki Foundation, jointly with Professor D. Christodoulou, 2006 (this premier scientific prize is awarded every two years to scientists of Greek origin, as chosen by an international committee chaired by a Nobel Laureate).
  • Selected as a Guggenheim Fellow by the Guggenheim Foundation, USA, in April 2009 (on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment").
  • Appointed Ambassador of Hellenism, Greece, March 6, 2010.
  • Elected Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, December, 2010.
  • Onassis Senior Visiting Scholar at the University of Harvard, Fall 2012.
  • Awarded a Senior EPSRC fellowship, 2015-2020.
  • ASF has received honorary degrees from seven universities.
  • An honorary member of the Institute of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Greece, 2002, as well as an honorary citizen of Oinouses, Greece, 2004 and an honorary citizen of Delphoi, Greece, 2009. Also, ASF has been honoured by the Hellenic Medical Society of UK, 2014, as well as by the Greek-American Medical Association, 2016.
  • ISI Web of Science includes A.S. Fokas in the list of the most highly cited researchers in the eld of Mathematics (Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics , Propability and Statistics), see According to Google scholar citations, ASF has around 14,000 citations and an h index of 60.

Editorial and Advisory Boards,

  • Co-founder of the Journal of Nonlinear Science. Associated Editor of the Series Progress in Physics and Mathematical Physics, Birkhauser. Member of the Editorial Board of the series Modern Mechanics and Mathematics, CRC. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Book Publishing Program in Mathematics, Gruyter.
  • ASF is or has been a member of the Editorial Board of more than twenty scientific journals, including: Proceedings of the Royal Society (Series A), Selecta Mathematica, Journal of Mathematical Physics, Nonlinearity and Studies in Applied Mathematics.
  • A.S. Fokas has served on the International Advisory Boards of several Institutions including the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Imperial College, UK and the Centre for Nonlinear Mathematics and Applications, Loughborough University, UK. He is currently a member of the Scientific Council of the International Center of Theoretical Physics {Eurasian Center for Advanced Research (ICTP-ECAR).

External Support

  • The Mathematics Section of the National Science Foundation of USA, 1982-1995.
  • The National Science Foundation of USA, USA-Italy Cooperative Program, 1991-1994.
  • The National Science Foundation of USA, USA-USSR Cooperative Program, 1992-1995.
  • The Mathematics Division of the Office of the Naval Research of USA, 1982-1988.
  • The Mathematics Division of the Air Force Office of Scienti c Research of USA, 1987-1995.
  • SERC, 1994-1997 (IBV Problems for Integrable Equations).
  • EPSRC, 1995 (Integrability of the Einstein's Equations).
  • EPSRC, 1999-2002 (Coherent Structures and the Asymptotic Behaviour of Nonlinear Integrable Equations in Multidimensions).
  • EPSRC, 1999 (Random Matrices, Orthogonal Polynomials, and Riemann-Hilbert Problems).
  • EC-TMR, 1998-2000 (Analytical and Numerical Aspects of PDEs Modelling Water Waves).
  • Royal Society, 2000 (Boundary Value Problems for the Laplace Equation).
  • EC-TMR, 2000-2002 (Whitham equations, Asymptotics, and Algebraic Geometry).
  • EPSRC, 2001 (Numerical Investigation of IBV Problems in Two and Three Dimensions).
  • EPSRC, 2002 (Boundary Value Problems for Linear PDEs with Variable Coefficients).
  • EC-TMR, 2002-2004 (ODEs and PDEs in the Complex Plane).
  • Royal Society, 2003 (Boundary Value Problems for the Tricomi Equation).
  • EPSRC, 2003 (Soliton Generation for Time-Periodic Boundary Conditions).
  • EPSRC, 2003 (A New Formulation of Water Waves in Three Dimensions and Integrable Reductions).
  • EPSRC, 2004-2008 (Boundary Value Problems for Multidimensional Nonlinear PDEs).
  • EC-TMR, 2005-2008 (Magnetoencephalography- to host as Marie Curie Chair of Excellence).
  • EC-TMR, 2006-2009 (Analysis of a Novel Class of Integrable PDEs).
  • EPSRC, 2008 (Aspects of Nonlinear Evolution PDEs).
  • MRC Discipline Hopping grant, 2009-2010 (Analytical Spect Image Reconstruction).
  • EPSRC { Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering { 2010-2013 (Analytical Methods For Certain Inverse Problems In Medical Imaging).
  • EPSRC, 2010-2014 (Integrability in Multidimensions and Boundary Value Problems).
  • EPSRC, 2015-2020 (the Unified Transform, Imaging and Asymptotics).
  • EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account, 2015-2016 (3D Brain Imaging using EEG).

Invited Talks

Has delivered around 350 talks in Congresses, International Conferences, Workshops and Colloquia, including:

  • The Naylor Lecture, London Mathematical Society, London, UK, 2001.
  • Ten lectures as the principal speaker in a NSF-CBMS conference organised at the University of Texas in 2005 (the conference was centered on the "unified transform" introduced by ASF).
  • The SIAM Invited Address at the Annual meeting of AMS and MAA, USA, 2006.
  • The Tsingua Global Vision Lecture, Tsingua University, Beijing, China, 2008.
  • The opening address of the 16th International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, Greece, 2009.
  • The Boeing Distinguished Colloquium in Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, USA, 2010.
  • The Lagerstrom Lecture, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, 2014.

Among other presentations are: the opening address of the 45th Mathematical Olympiad, Greece, 2004; an invited address at the celebration of the Royal Irish Academy for the Bicentennial of W.R. Hamilton, Ireland, 2005; the opening plenary address of the international conference Nonlinear Waves: Theory & Applications, China, 2008; the opening address at the 2nd World Congress of Controversies in Neurology, 2008; an invited address at the 27th Colloquio Brasilero de Mathematica, IMPA, Brazil, 2009; the opening talk at the ESF Conference: Completely Integrable Systems and Applications, Vienna, Austria, 2011;the keynote address of the International Conference on Mathemadical Modelling in Physical Sciencies, IC-MSQUARE 2013, Prague, Czech Republic, 2013; the opening address at the Annual Meeting of the European Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Society, Athens, 2015. 

He has also given several presentations on relations between mathematics, philosophy and neuroscience, including talks at Boston, Oxford, Beijing and the Athens Concert Hall.

Among institutions where a colloquium has been given are: Harvard University (1983, 2009, 2012), Princeton University (1981, 1991, 1996, 2016), Yale University (1982, 1989, 1992, 2012), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982, 1996, 2009), Stanford University (1982, 1987, 1994, 2001), California Institute of Technology (1979, 1981, 1988, 1999, 2010, 2014), University of Berkeley (2005), Courant Institute (1980, 1981, 1989,2002, 2009), Cornell University (1982), Columbia University (1988), Duke University (1991, 1994), UCLA (1979, 1990), Brown University (1999), MSRI (1999), I. Newton Institute (1995, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2015, 2017), University of Cambridge (1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009), Oxford University (1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005), Imperial College (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012), University of Warwick (1994, 1998), King's College (1998, 2010), ICMS (1999, 2001, 2017), University of Bristol (1996, 2003), University of Edinburgh (1996), University of Bath (2001), University College (1999, 2008, 2009). Euler Institute (1992), Poincare Institute (1995, 2003, 2004, 2008), University of Paris VI (1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004), Tokyo University (1995), University of Kyoto (1995), University of Rome (1988, 1991), University of Amsterdam (1997), University of Lund (2002), SISSA (2005).

Information and contact

Supervisor of the Research Center of Pure and Applied Mathematics
4, Soranou Efesiou str., 11527 Athens
Tel.: +30 210 6597163
Fax: +30 210 6597 600